NATASHA JONAS AND CLARESSA SHIELDS CELEBRATE HISTORIC DOUBLE WITH BRITISH BOXING BOARD OF CONTROL ANNUAL AWARDS TRIUMPH
NATASHA JONAS was today named Boxer of the Year at the prestigious British Boxing Board of Control Annual Awards – and Claressa Shields was honoured as Overseas Boxer of the Year.
Attached image free for editorial use: Jonas accepts award alongside Shalom. Credit to Boxxer/ Matty Lawless
Chris Billam-Smith made it a BOXXER hat-trick as the popular Bournemouth cruiserweight was named the recipient of the Dennie Mancini Commonwealth Council Award, which is awarded each year to the person deemed to have accomplished the most in that year to the aims of Commonwealth boxing.
Jonas’ is the first female fighter to land the coveted prize, with the landmark feat capping what was an incredible year for both the reigning WBC, WBO, IBF and Ring Magazine world middleweight champion and, indeed, women’s boxing.
Guided by Boxing News Trainer of the Year nominee Joe Gallagher, Liverpudlian fighter Jonas celebrated a hat-trick of world title success in 2022.
Jonas, who was the first-ever British female boxer to compete at an Olympic Games at London 2012, began the year by capturing the vacant WBO title with an impressive second round stoppage over Chris Namus at the AO Arena in February 2022, on the Khan vs Brook undercard.
She followed it up in September on her beloved Merseyside patch at the M&S Bank Arena when she outclJonas_Shalom_Awards.jpegassed Patricia Berghult to land the WBC crown.
And the 38-year-old ended her remarkable year with a masterclass over Canada’s Marie-Eve Dicaire in Manchester last November to claim the IBF and Ring Magazine belt.
Claressa Shields was named Overseas Boxer of the Year in recognition of her phenomenal success in 2022, which the American concluded by defeating Britain’s Savannah Marshall for the undisputed middleweight titles.
Shields, a two-time Olympic gold medalist who kickstarted her 2022 campaign with victory over Ema Kozin in Cardiff last February, is the only boxer in history, female or male, to hold all four major world titles in boxing—WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO—simultaneously, in two weight classes.
Her historic win over Marshall – which saw her celebrate the commemorative WBC Elizabethan Belt, in memory of late Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – was also nominated for Contest of the Year, alongside BOXXER’s Chris Billam-Smith vs Isaac Chamberlain and Joe Joyce vs Joseph Parker, and is considered one of the best fights of 2022.
The bout headlined an iconic show presented by BOXXER and Sky Sports, which was the first-ever all-female boxing event televised in the UK and Ireland seen by a record-breaking audience of over two million viewers and in front of a sold-out, capacity crowd of 18,000 fans at The O2 in London.
BOXXER CEO & Founder Ben Shalom said: “I am incredibly proud and absolutely delighted for Natasha and Claressa.
“It was a monumental year for women’s boxing. Their success is a testament to their tremendous talent, hard work and quality which has catapulted the sport to new heights. I couldn’t be happier to congratulate both.
“Tasha is a legend of British boxing. Nobody deserves it more and what she has achieved will not only inspire every female fighter in the UK but across the world too.
“Claressa is a superstar. We witnessed something special last October in an event that will be cemented in folklore.
“With Eubank vs Smith, Dan Azeez’s triumph in Paris last night and Lawrence Okolie vs David Light on March 25 in Manchester, we are off to a flying start in 2023 and long may this success continue for our elite roster of athletes.”
For more news on the full list of winners from the British Boxing Board of Control’s Annual Awards, please visit: https://bbbofc.com/